FERMANAGH workers should have “the right to swtich off” from their jobs, whether they are working at home or not.
That’s the view of the local Council who last week backed a motion by Cllr Adam Gannon calling on the Economy Minister to rethink his refusal to introduce legislation allowing employees to disconnect from work, by making it illegal for employers to penalise workers for not working or responding to contact outside of their working hours.
Similar legislation has been introduced in various countries around the world, including in the South, which includes the right to ignore phone calls and emails outside of working hours. However, Minister Gordon Lyons last week said there were “no plans at present” to introduce such a law here.
At the monthly meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council last week Cllr Adam Gannon introduced a motion, which was passed, calling for workers to being given the right to switch off.
“This Council notes that interruptions to non-working time and the extension of working hours can increase the risk of unremunerated overtime, can have a negative impact on health, work-life balance and rest from work,” the motion stated.
The motion called on Minister Lyons to introduce a code of practice that would include the right of an employee not to routinely perform work outside of hours, the right not to be penalised for refusing to attend work matters outside of hours, and the duty of employers to respect a person’s right to switch off.
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